How to Make your Kitchen Fit for Prime Time
If you love cooking shows on television, maybe you salivate over the kitchens just as much as you dream of recreating tasty recipes for your family and guests. Or maybe you think that fabulous meals simply go hand in hand with fabulous kitchens.
Either way, it’s easy to take some inspiration from your favorite celebrity chefs as you plan your own kitchen remodel. It seems the best chef’s kitchens have several things in common, in addition to a multitude of helpers to do the clean up! Here are some of the basics to consider:
- Keep what you use most close at hand. Celebrity chefs often have open shelving in their own kitchens, hanging racks for favorite pots, and easily visible containers for foodstuffs that might include pasta, sugar and flour, a variety of oils and vinegars, herbs and spices. Ina Garten, star of the popular Barefoot Contessa cooking show, even stows a variety of cutting boards in a large basket next to her large kitchen island.
- Have plenty of counter space, and try to incorporate separate zones for food preparation, actual mixing and cooking, serving and clean up. Most professional chefs move about their own kitchens as if they were stage sets — the only difference between you and the stars is the cameras that follow them as they work!
- View the space and the cooking process as fun rather than as a chore. Celebrity chefs work hard to prepare great dishes, but even in their TV kitchens, they make room for quirky, personal touches — a collection of rooster pottery, bright colored mixing bowls and measuring cups, the ever-present glass of wine that Jacques Pepin advocates, colorful displays of fruits and vegetables, vintage advertising signs or funky stools.
- Don’t apologize for the look that you love! This is an important one. If your kitchen is small, but it works for you, that’s much more important than having the latest kitchen tools. If, like Julia Child, you hang all your pots from pegboard on the end wall, you’ll never have to stoop to find a cover. If sleek and shiny is more in tune with your personality, emulate Giada de Laurentiis’s kitchen that looks like a showroom of efficiency as well as a modern design gallery.
- Design for the way you cook and live. Grilling guru Bobby Flay has two kitchens — the outdoor version is every bit as well-equipped and efficient as the indoor, more traditional space. If you love grilling, at least plan for some outdoor storage and counter surface to make your job easier.
- Make room for what you think is essential. If you bake regularly, you’ll no doubt want double ovens, a warm place to proof and knead dough and counter space to cook cookies, pastries and pies. If you can’t live without a deep fryer, a wok or a blender, build them in. If you cook tons of pasta, add a pot filler over your range. Customize your kitchen!
The next time you’re setting in to watch a cooking show on television, know that the star of the show probably had a lot of input into the way the on-set kitchen was designed. You would most likely find many of the same features in the “real” kitchens of these celebrity chefs.
As you think about your own kitchen remodeling plans, know that you should be the star of your own show, whether you cook a lot or a little. Make your kitchen personal and then invite your friends and family to join you in the kitchen. Why not contact one of our certified kitchen designers to help you get started on your cooking show?
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